I loved the way it challenges each and every one of your notions about how a society "should" be. That's the best part. How Diamond stops you of taking anything for granted and shows the wide variety of lifestyles people have made over centuries. It's a really refreshing view, and it tickles my inner ideas that there is no one "correct" way to live your life.
Storywise, the book is a bit scattered. It works more like a list of different aspects of society like child rearing, justice, food supplies and so on and then explains all the different ways small-scale societies have dealt with them in sharp contrast to how modern western societies have dealt with them. It took me a while to finish the book given how I could basically pick any point in it and start reading, so continuity is not a big deal within it. Nonetheless, the content of each chapter is really good.
It made me awe most of all when I heard about some custom or specific view by a small society about an aspect of life that I had never thought about. The emotions that goes through you are mostly fascination, curiosity and interest. Specially for a city-rat as myself who knows little of the way humans have figured out how to make a living.
One important adverse reaction is flinching when Diamond describes some of the ugliest and most horrifying practices by some societies, which not only destroy any possible romanticism you may have for low-technology living, but also makes you feel grateful people have a bigger chance to choose how to live now than in the present.
The narrator is great. He's completely fearless in his reading, which is surprising considering how many topics in the book are hard to listen to given their shock and cruelty in some cases, so I can only imagine what it was for him to read them out loud. Kudos for his bravery in pronunciation of New Guinea words and places.
Definitely. Or at least, if you don't have a problem with being thrown back and up, front and back by the author who expertly handles your feelings, expectations and emotions like a puppet. The book, and more particularly this audiobook, feels more of an "experience" than a regular read. I felt as if I was tagging along with the characters as they faced countless horrors and struggles. David Wong is a master at making his characters think exactly what you're thinking, basically replacing your thought-process with another.
Next to the great story, the funny moments, the endearing characters and overall "colorfulness" of this book, what I found more striking was Wong's pure skill at storytelling. That alone makes me recommend this book.
The moment that will haunt me forever will be the moment at the enclosed hospital where the main character performs the spider-test on the new arrivals. The brutality of that scene made me flinch and stop the playback. It took me a while to return to the book afterwards, as I was afraid more moments like that would repeat. Thankfully, that was (at least for me) the highest point of the book in therms of trauma.
On the other end of the spectrum, the scene I enjoyed the most was the time-frozen scene near the ending. I liked a lot how the main character's personality was shown in that scene.
Podehl is great. I had heard him before in Will Greyson Will Greyson, and he did flawlessly once more. I love his interpretations and how he manages to use different voices for different characters. His voice for Amy and the psychiatrist were spot-on. I cannot imagine them with any other voice by now.
It's a tough choice between Amy and John. Amy's rough yet lovable personality produces an instant crush on her. While John's recklessness/stupidity combined with his ingrained loyalty is endearing. For all the troubles he causes, it's impossible not to forgive him every time.
However, I gotta choose Amy as I think her character is way more memorable and original in the long run.
As anyone living on this decade, I've heard lots and lots about Douglas Adams masterpiece throughout my life, yet I had never given the time to actually read (or in this case, listen) to it. Now that I did, I can't but be mad at myself for not having read this book the moment I knew how to read. It is absolutely amazing, and Stephen Fry's interpretation only made it more enjoyable. This book is a must for everyone, especially science fiction fans who will see many winks threw their way along the story.
I do plan to keep reading the following books, but not on Audibe. I've read many bad reviews of the narrator of the following books, so I guess I'll go for the ebook version next. I want to keep Fry's excellent voices as my mental soundtrack for the next ones.
So go, read this, share this, and carry on hailing at Adams. I finally understand you guys :)
I would sum it up as "Gotta love Tiny Cooper". This book may be named Will Graysonx2, but under the surface, it really is about fabulous extraordinaire Tiny Cooper. He steals the show big time, and what's really amazing is how much sense it makes in the end.
To me it was the first encounter between the Will Graysons. The whole night as a whole. There the story's plot thickens to unthinkable levels, taking the whole arc into a new level.
Second best moment for me would be Will Grayson #2 preparing to meet Isaac. That scene resonated with me in a big way.
They both have my full admiration for what they did here. They prove that audio books are a whole different monster, done well, it can elevate a book to new levels, and I think they did so brilliantly in this one. My only complain would be that they should not have read literally the internet chat conversations, at least not all the time. It was a bit distracting to hear the user name on each dialogue. Besides that, their performance is a full 6 stars.
"Try, fail, try, fail, try, fail, try, fail, try, IT"
this was a really enjoyable, funny, and touching book. The characters are it's main asset, all of them are the kind of people you wish you were friends with. The dialogue is another great asset of the book, it's abundant with memorable similes, metaphors, exaggerations and brilliant comments on human nature and life. If only we people talked like that more often, or at least, if we had the intelligence, sarcasm and bravery to talk like that.
A great, addictive and highly enjoyable read in a word.
I subscribed to audible.com to help a friend, literally, to help Dustin from Smarter every day videos, who needed some link clicks in order to boost his ad revenues. I'm glad I did, not only because I helped his channel (and him) a bit, but because once I got my free credit I immediately bashed john green on the search box and found this book. I regret nothing, absolutely nothing. I also haven't heard any other audio books, so I can't really answer how it compares to others. But ask me in a couple of days and I'll now as I'm audible-addicted already!
That's the great thing, the Fault in our Stars is incomparable. The only comparable thing I can imagine is how reading it felt like a revelation, as if I had just discovered a new shape of literature, which is a feeling I had with Murakami or Rowlinger.
So I would say, just for the sake of being able to compare with "something", that Fault in our Stars gives you that refreshment, awe and inspiration that you feel when you read a life-changing author for the very first time.
I loved her narration. I honestly felt awkward and strange in the beginning being this the first audio book I heard, and maybe such feeling had to do in part because Kate, the narrator, was also getting a hang on the words and tempo. However, soon the strange feeling was gone and by the end of the book, I can't imagine it anymore unless it's with her reading it.
One of the things she does that it's so great is to impersonate the different characters without loosing her own voice in the process. And I gotta say, I got a huge crush on Hazel's tone and her way of saying "Okay", it was Perfect, capital P.
(I also have already promised myself not to see a upcoming movie, I can't imagine any of the characters talking differently and I don't want to!)
I didn't know what I wanted at first, I started listening to it a couple of hours at night one day, then I continued listening in the office a couple more hours (which is a terrible idea! as I spooked my coworkers by my bursts of tears, laughs and lack of any productivity whatsoever). I listened to the rest of the whole book (about 5 hours) in one sitting during the next day. So yeah, I finished it all in less than 3 days, and now I must get another audiobook!
Perfect book, perfect, perfect perfect. Bring tissues, that's important. And be sure to be allowed to be alone while reading it, as anyone trying to distract you will receive killer stares by you. Also, and this is very important, be ready to feel a impending urge to recommend the book to every single stranger you cross in the street.
Oh, and lastly (last one promise) check the internet fan-made images, book covers, favorite quotes and John Green's youtube channels if you can. Do such after reading the book of course. It all contributes to create a much richer, but optional experience.
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